{ giveaway } W O R D | a polaroid collaboration

I am so very happy for my dear friend, Jen of scissorspaperglue!  She is a newlywed. She is delightful. She is sweet and kind and creative.  She is crazy good with a polaroid camera. 

And now ... she's in print! 

Book1(photo: jen shaffer)

AND I have one of her gorgeous books, W O R D, to give away!

about W O R D:
a polaroid collaboration, 2 years in the making...

each month, the 2 jens would alternate picking a word, which was then interpreted with a polaroid image. at the end of the month, they would post the images online on their blogs, and marvel at the uncanny similarities.

now their collaboration is available in print form.

only 500 copies will be printed.

about jen s
jen lives in saint paul, minnesota. you can find her most evenings in her dining room, creating handmade books and goods while enjoying a bottle of wine. she blogs 5 days a week at

about jen v
jen lives in portland, oregon. she enjoys spending time creating in her new studio and dreaming about when polaroid film will once again be available to the masses. she blogs when she can at


Just leave a comment here (about your love of the polaroid of course, who doesn't?!)  by midnight Friday, December 17, and I will use the number generator to select a winner and announce it sometime next Monday, the 20th.

Easy peasy!  xoxo
miss chris

W O R D is published by painted fish studio press.  { Click here to purchase. }

{ giveaway } Winner!

It is still morning in some parts of the world. 

When I said I'd post the winner of the book drawing on Friday morning I had totally forgotten about  my standing Friday Morning Coffee plans with friends.  So.  Now I'm caffeinated, Wonderbaby is asleep, and I'm going to get down to business.

Righty ho!


Thanks to for making it so easy to pick a number, even if it lacks the hoopla and dramatics of a live ticket drawing.  My first ever random comment drawing goes like this:

Woohoo!  Very exciting, yes?

Congratulations, Lise of In the Purple House!  You have won a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause.  I hope you enjoy it, sweets!


{ giveaway } Craft Hope book

We are smack dab in the middle of Craft Hope Book Month hysteria and the good stuff just won't stop.  Those generous people at Lark Craft have provided me with a book to give away and I'm just thrilled that one of my own PPF friends has a chance to win it.

So, would you like a free copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause?

You would?!  Super!


I'm not exactly an expert with the whole giveaway thing, so let's keep it simple.  Leave a comment on this post by midnight, Central Time, Thursday, August 19th and I'll announce the winner Friday morning. Woohoo!

Note to the future winner:  After you win and dance around with your new book that is chock full of projects for causes and inspiration and goodness, make sure you turn to page 90.  


Happy Monday!

miss chris

{ bookclub dish } The Beach Trip

At the suggestion of my sweet neighbor and fellow bookclubber, Jocelyn, I have decided that our book club books + dishes need sharing.

Because, yes, it is nice to talk about books.  And visit with friends.  And get out of the house once a month.  But, my oh my, do we ever eat well!  Lately, it's been thematic.

BeachtripTake, for instance, The Beach Trip, by Cathy Holton.

It is about four friends who have not been together in the 23 years since college and join each other at one of their homes on the Outer Banks for a week.  There are familiar threads of mid-life crossroads and secrets and digging in the to past, but the plot of the story isn't so light that it can be passed off as fluff.  We all enjoyed it and had a lively discussion.

It is also the book that introduced me to the Margarona.

beach trip - margaronas

Delicious and dangerous, this drink is a sipper.  It seemed fitting to serve it at book club, of course.

Margaronas a la Beach Trip:
Empty 1 can of limeaid into a blender.
Fill that can with tequila and pour it in.

Add two Coronas.

Stir and Serve with a lime wedge.


I have never filled that whole can with tequila.  And I use Corona Light.  And I have added a third beer to the pitcher to mellow it out a bit.  Doesn't matter.  It's all good.

For dinner, Jocelyn served the following:


Mexican Chopped Salad (image via Kraft)
1/3 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 tps ground cumin
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed
2 avocados, chopped
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper chopped
1/2  cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup Kraft Mexican Style Finely shredded four cheese
mix dressing and cumin
combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. add dressing mixture, mix lightly.



Heirloom Tomato Salad
(image via Kraft)
1 lb. mixed fresh tomatoes  chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/4 cup Athenos crumbled feta cheese with basil & tomato
1/4 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing & Marinade
2tbsp chopped fresh basil
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

combine ingredients...



Chili Chicken Kabobs
(via Eat Clean Diet)
Hers looked better than this and had squash + zucchini on the skewers , too.

• 3 Tbsp / 45 ml best-quality olive oil
• 1 1/2 Tbsp / 22 ml balsamic vinegar
• Juice of one fresh lime
• 1 tsp / 5 ml chili powder
• 1/2 tsp / 2 1/2 ml paprika
• 1 large onion, chopped into thick pieces
• 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
• 1 tsp / 5ml cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 lb / 454 g boneless skinless chicken breast*, cut into 1 1/2 inch / 4-cm pieces
• Yellow Squash, Zucchini, & Onion for skewers

I am pretty sure we all had seconds of everything.   It was so delicious and perfect for a hot summer evening.  Oh, Joc also served fresh homemade ice cream with strawberries for dessert.

Yeah, Book Club kind of rocks.

{ good good stuff } the Craft Hope Book

Craft-Hope-cover Perhaps you have already heard all about this Craft Hope excitement...

About Jade, who had this Crazy Idea that people who like to make things might enjoy using that talent to help others. And about how it all started with 27 pillowcase dresses for an orphanage in Mexico. 

About how the publishers at Lark Crafts stumbled upon her efforts and approached her about writing a book.  And how it features 32 projects that have been paired up with deserving charities from around the world.

About how it has hit stores in the last couple weeks and is FLYING off the shelves.  (Even though today is the official release day!)

CYL_hope If you haven't, or you are interested in knowing just a little bit more about the Craft Hope Book and organization, head over to the the Lark Crafts website, where they are hosting a Month of Hope.  Right now it features an interview with sweet and funny and inspired Jade.  I dare you not to love her after reading it. :)  


Okay, here's the hard part. It just seems like shameless self-promotion, but I have to share because I am honored to be included in an amazing list of crafters and bloggers featured in this book.  Really, if you had told me a year ago that some simple pillowcase project of mine would be included in a book with these talented people I would have two words for you: Shut Up.

But it is in there, all the same.  As soon as I heard it had hit Barnes and Noble I had to see for myself. It was on the shelf already.

Photo 1 

And there I was, not two seconds later, posing with my first published book submission ever, accompanied by several confused onlookers, my girlfriend, daughter, and her best friend -- who was the only reason we have a photo at all because she had her iPhone handy.


I bought one and sent it to my mom, who introduced me to the whole sewing thing over 30 years ago. 

The kind people at Lark have donated a book for a blog giveaway this August. I've never done one before, so I'll save that for another post when I have my act together.  Stay tuned.

Anyway, Happy Craft Hope Book Release Day!  And Congratulations to my dear friend, Jade.  You Rock!

miss chris

{ books } Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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It's been a while since I've read a book that I wanted to keep going.  You know, past the last page.  In fact, this last year of bookclub was chock-full of books that were difficult for me to get through. Not because they were hard, but I didn't always find them engaging. And I don't really have enough time to sit around reading books that feel 'assignments.'  Bleh.  I had enough of that in school. 

I was beginning to feel like a failure of a member.  

And then our March selection reminded me why I love reading so very much.  How you can, by opening the pages of a book borrowed from the library, be convinced to sit down, snuggle up, and get lost in a story. Forget the laundry.  Forget the closet reorg project.  That sewing project that can wait.  Lost.  That is the best way to describe it. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. (image, 

In the highly unlikely event that you have not heard of this book or read it yourself, run, do not walk, to your library, and pick it up.  I recommend finding a comfy spot immediately thereafter and having, perhaps, rations nearby. 

Prepare to make friends with some memorable and enjoyable characters.  Prepare to get sucked into  a sweet, but not sacharrine, love story.  Prepare to learn about the German occupation of the Channel Islands during WWII.  It will break your heart.  And lift your spirits.

I know, I know, I know.  It's been out since 2008.  It was a best seller and it has garnered major acclaim.  Good golly, it deserves all the favorable reviews.  

Also, it's written as a series of letters, from a variety of characters and viewpoints.  That can take a few pages to get used to, but I do think it makes the story even better. 

Also, I want to be Juliet's neighbor.  I think Fidget and Kit would get along well.

Enjoy.  xoxo

Me too and something new.

In advertising, there is something called a 'ME TOO' ad.  It's when you're not selling a unique quality or super-feature or price point, but you are pretty much just saying, hey, yeah, we do that, too.  It is not highly effective, nor is it terribly engaging.

And that is pretty much how I feel about posting this top I made for Fidget yesterday.  (Because Erin, Sarah, Kirsten and Candace have already posted their adorable versions. As well as a couple others I probably haven't seen yet... )

smocked top

Yes, it is smocked with elastic thread.  That thread is a pretty remarkable and wondrous thing I never should have feared.  I bought the thread a year ago and was always too chicken to use it.  Um, hardly worth the worry. 

I got Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book for my birthday a few weeks ago, read though her instructions, and just kind of threw the top together in about an hour.  I used stash fabric that didn't especially love, since it was an experiment. There wasn't even enough for it to be dress-length, so it's tunic-y.  Now that it is done, I do like it very much.  Funny how that happens. 

I have lots of ideas for this thread.  It opens up a whole bunch of possibilities... Yes...Me, Too.


Like the red door?  It's part of the whole Exterior House Paint Job of 2009.  We are now the Gray  House with the White Trim and the Bright Red Door. I love it.  The red (SW Radish) turned out a little too bright and hubs is ready to slather on another coat of a deeper color, because he thinks it looks a little too pink.  It totally goes with the impatiens though.

I chould even change the blog to 'Pink Front Door'.  Oh, the possibilities. 

So random, I can't come up with a title.

leftover temptation 

I can't seem to put these away.  The candy canes are the only thing left from Christmas around here; major cleaning is still in process. 

Today the sofa slipcover is in the wash, which is a necessity when you can see shoeprints on its kick pleats and bookclub is here next Monday.  I have to say, having an off-white slipcover shows me exactly how dirty things can get.  It makes me look at my other furniture and think, hmmmm...  It doesn't help that we have a golden retriever who likes to snooze with her back to the couch in the same spot every day.  A lot of that dirt is from her.  But I'm pretty sure the pen marks and smudges on the cushions are not.  Anyway, I don't mind washing it.  I really like knowing it's clean. 

Speaking of bookclub, has anyone else read "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian?  I really enjoyed it, but it is the kind of book that you can easily ruin for someone just by talking about it.  Just imagine The Great Gatsby + photography + mental illness.  I'm sure that cleared it up for you.  Ha.  The end did catch me by surprise, so I can't wait to discuss this with my fellow bookclubbers.  Now I just have to figure out what to serve for dinner and we'll be ready.

16 weeks

One more note.  I promise I am not going to turn this into a pregnancy blog.  But I did go to the doctor today and we have a strong heartbeat, which is such a relief.  Also, since I am considered 'high risk' due to my 'advanced age' (ahem), I automatically qualify for a Level II ultrasound for my next appointment in February.  There will be lots of detailed measuring to confirm healthy growth and normal development.  I'm hoping not to be so paranoid after that session.  

Oh, another thing.   We really don't want to find out the gender, so hopefully they can keep that under wraps, too. Fingers crossed.  I found out with the other two, and since this is my last chance at experiencing this miracle, I want to look at my husband and have him tell me in his own words whether we'll need the blue or pink going home outfit.  I can't even imagine how awesome that would be :)

Have a happy weekend!


Good morning.

It was a busy weekend around these parts.  Friends in town on Friday, the plaza art fair on Saturday, conspiring yesterday to surprise a sweet friend with a scrubbed-down house, fresh laundry and flowers... ( I cannot tell you how wonderful that felt! )

new kicks for the dogs

Tell you what, though, my dogs are tired. 

autumn dog

I may very well be one of the last people on Earth to read The Time Traveler's Wife.  I am about halfway through, and enjoying it very much.  It challenges me, as I am visual-tactile learner, and this book jumps makes me stop and process the chronology with every chapter.  I am happy to see Rachel McAdams will be playing the role of Clare in the movie.  A nice casting choice, I think.  ( Are you on goodreads yet?  I'm not very good about writing reviews, but I do keep my list current.  What a fun little place to be. )

And I am so very excited to have been invited to participate in a virtual quilting bee organized by this gal.  I'm so excited and nervous at the same time.  :)

Here's to a fresh start.  I love Mondays for that. 


Looks like my last post got screwy on bloglines, where special characters were added throughout the text.  Nice.  Not sure how that happened, as it is appearing on my blog the right way. 

Just wanted to let any subscribers know I'm not trying out new languages and getting fancy with foreign characters for fun.

Speaking of new languages and things that are just stupifyingly challenging, has anyone else read Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet? 


It is a riveting self-penned memoir of a 27 year old autistic savant who can learn a language in a week and sees numbers as landscapes... It was our bookclub selection last month and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  What a peek into his extraordinary mind.